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Rob Andrews (motocross)
Robert 'Rob' Andrews is a former professional motocross rider who competed at world championship level between 1985 and 1990. He also represented Great Britain at the 1985 Motocross des Nations.
Andrews currently commentates for Eurosport as part of their television coverage of the MXGP and MX2 world motocross championships.
Early years of motocross
Andrews first competed aboard a Suzuki TM125 in 1977 at the age of 14. He progressed through the schoolboy ranks, and by 1980 was racing in the adult classes at both local and national level. Andrews raced in the British Championship support series between 1981 and 1983, before qualifying for the main British Open Championship in 1984 riding a Yamaha YZ250. During the '84 season, Andrews first contested the 250cc world motocross championship, qualifying in two of the six rounds he entered.
500cc grand prix career
Andrews moved to a 500cc machine for 1985, competing in both the British Open Championship and 500cc World Championship. He began the year racing a Maico, before switching to a Kawasaki KX500 mid-season with the backing of Kawasaki UK. He failed to qualify for the opening round in Austria, but met the required qualifying standard at all the remaining GPs that year, ending the season ranked 39th in the world. Andrews also finished in 11th place in the 1985 domestic series. Andrews was also a surprise selection as a member of Great Britain's three-man team (alongside David Thorpe and Kurt Nicoll) for the annual Motocross des Nations. He competed on an unfamiliar KX125, finishing 6th overall in class and helping Great Britain to 5th overall in the team standings.
Andrews' form during 1985 helped him secure a place on the official Kawasaki factory grand prix team in 1986 as team-mate to Georges Jobé and Kurt Nicoll. Andrews took his works KX500SR to 2nd overall at the opening round of the world championship, but a mid-season arm injury and machine reliability issues curtailed his progress. He finished 1986 ranked 9th in the world and 6th in Britain.
Andrews switched from Kawasaki to Honda for 1987, riding alongside Mark Banks in a team backed by Honda UK and run by former GP rider, and Mark's father, John Banks. After a promising pre-season programme spent competing in the prestigious Golden State Series in California, Andrews began the world championship season strongly, with 5th overall in the opening grand prix in Spain. This was complimented by a career-best race finish of 2nd in the German grand prix at Reutlingen. A knee injury then impacted his season. 1987 ended with Andrews ranked 16th in the world and 5th in Britain.
Andrews returned to the Kawasaki factory team for 1988, a move which promised much but proved disappointing, due to a combination of unexpected mechanical mishaps and team management issues. Andrews finished the year ranked 26th in the world and 8th in Britain.
Andrews opted to change teams in 1989, returning to Honda UK with further support from leading dealer Bikesport of Newcastle. Andrews took his CR500 to 38th place in the world and 8th in Britain.
1990 was Andrews' final grand prix campaign, which he again undertook aboard a Honda UK/Bikesport CR500, ending the season 25th in the world and 14th in Britain.
Andrews retired at the end of the 1990 season, but his involvement with motocross continued. Between 1991 and 1998 he was Bike Test Editor for Dirt Bike Rider Magazine, evaluating both production and full-factory machines. A similar role followed with MXUK Magazine from 1999 to 2001.
In the intervening years Andrews has written numerous articles for motocross magazines around the world, including Dirt Bike Rider (UK) and Racer X (US). He progressed to television announcing in 2014 as part of Eurosport's commentary team, working as colour analyst alongside Jack Burnicle and Roger Warren (and occasionally taking lead duties) on the channel's global coverage of the MXGP and MX2 world championships and the annual Motocross of Nations.
In 2008, Andrews published a website to 'celebrate the golden days of GP motocross'.
In 2019, Andrews will be publishing a book chronicling his experiences in GPs, giving insight into many different aspects of life as a professional rider, with a depth and honesty that makes it unparalleled.
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